Social capital and maternal health care use in rural Ethiopia

S. Sheabo Dessalegn

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

670 Downloads (Pure)


This thesis analyzes the effect of social capital on maternal health care use in rural Ethiopia. Reports show that in Ethiopia, despite the huge investment in health infrastructure and the deployment of health professionals to provide maternal health services free of charge, utilization remains low. Here we argue that one of the potential factors behind underutilization or inequality in use of the services is social capital. Social capital is important especially in the rural context, where access to modern means of information is low. Accordingly, this study analyzed the effect of social capital on maternal health care use, employing a broad definition of social capital. The findings show that the use of maternal health services cannot be fully explained using an individual perspective. They show that, among others, social capital is an important determinant for knowing the benefits of maternal health care and translating it into use. Also the findings show that different dimensions of social capital have different effects on maternal health care use. Thus free provision of the services may not ensure use if the potential users have poor knowledge about the services. In a nutshell, this study suggests that social capital is helpful in reducing maternal deaths. Therefore, there is a need to strengthen the current networking of mothers.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • Noorderhaven, Niels, Promotor
  • Groen, Marjan, Co-promotor
Award date12 Jun 2017
Place of PublicationTilburg
Print ISBNs9789056685164
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Social capital and maternal health care use in rural Ethiopia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this